The most important part of reading is making meaning. Readers make meaning when they use words and pictures to think about and understand the book.

What is a Picture Walk?

• A picture walk is a way of going through the pages of a book by just using the pictures to determine what is happening on each page of the book.
• A picture walk makes connections between the words on the page and the illustrations. As your child grows familiar with a book they will use the illustrations to help them recall information about what is happening in the book.
• As children look through the pictures and talk about what they think is happening in the pictures, they begin to build their reading skills. They discover that the book is a story that has meaning, or a source of information about the world.
• Children need to practice using the words they are learning. A picture walk is a good way to practice using words.
• Knowing many different words helps children succeed in school. Picture walks are especially good for learning new words in the book.

How to Do a Picture Walk

• Hold the tablet between you and your child so you both can see it.
• Tell your child that the book has words and pictures and right now going to just look at the pictures.
• Take a look at the cover.
• Describe what you see and think (for example; name the things in each picture; make predictions about book’s content)
• Turn the first page.
• Ask your child to describe the picture.
• Take turns talking about the rest of the pages in the book.
• You can do a picture walk with any book that has pictures–even non-fiction books.

A picture walk helps a child understand a book. Ask your child to think about the pictures by asking “What is going on here?” or “What do you see?”

For example:
• Take a look at the cover.
• Describe what you see and think (for example, name the things in each picture; make predictions about the story’s content and ask the child to do so: “I see a castle on the cover. I wonder what this book is going to be about?”)
• Ask your child to describe the picture.